Back 2 School: Tips to help parents and kids be ready in case of an emergency

MADISON, Wis. (WBAY)- ReadyWisconsin and Gov. Tony Evers are encouraging students and parents to make preparing for the possibility of an emergency part of their back to school planning.

“While folks across our state are getting ready to kick off another great school year, we want to make sure we’re talking with kids about safety before they’re back in the classroom,” Gov. Evers said in a Monday news release. “By taking the time before the semester to talk about and plan for what happens in an emergency, we can help make sure our kids have a happy and safe school year.”

The news release says parents should consider discussing these topics and reviewing information available from schools:

• Write a family communications plan. Kids should know who to contact in an emergency and have a written copy of those phone numbers in their backpack or wallet. Keep a copy of your emergency plan on file at your student’s school, and check out ReadyWisconsin's website for sample communication plans.

• If your local school allows students to have a phone, program it with important contact numbers.

• Text first, talk second. Getting a phone call through during an emergency may be difficult because of call congestion. Students should know that text messages may be the best option to get in contact with each other.

• Know your school’s evacuation plan and where students will be taken during an emergency, along with how to reunite with them after they are safe.

• If your school allows you to designate additional people who are authorized to retrieve your student if you are unable to do so yourself, ensure that information is current.

• Students who drive to school should have an emergency kit in their vehicle with items such as snacks, warm blankets, extra clothing and jumper cables.

• If you have a student heading to college, make an emergency kit for their dorm or apartment that includes items such as water, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, flashlight, and a portable radio.

• Suggest your student sign up to receive any text alert notifications their campus may send out during an emergency or when there is severe weather.

More information can be found at ReadyWisconsin's website.

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